Guild President’s New Year Message

3 January 2018

By Stephen C. Luchetta, LEED AP BD+C
Guild Board President

Happy New Year and all the best to you and your families in 2018! It’s hard to believe that we are half way through the school year. The fall semester has flown by and the USC School of Architecture and the Architectural Guild have been very busy and productive.

First of all, in July, Milton S. F. Curry was installed as the 14th Dean of the School of Architecture by USC President Max Nikias at Town and Gown. Milton was born in Fresno, California and studied architecture at Cornell and Harvard Universities.  He began his teaching career at Arizona State University, moved to Harvard University and spent the last seven years at the University of Michigan, where he served as an Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Strategic initiatives. He has been very productive in his first 6 months as our Dean and I am confident that he will take the School of Architecture to new heights. He attended our Annual Board Retreat in August at the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Rey and provided us with a preview of his vision and strategic initiatives. He also acknowledged the good works and support of the Guild over the past 60 years and encouraged us to continue with our mission. It has been a pleasure working with Dean Curry and I look forward to working with him for the balance of my term and beyond.

The Guild year began with our first board meeting in September at the University Club on campus and then our 37th Annual Golf Tournament at the Santa Ana Country Club in October. The Guild made a bold move south this year and held our annual golf tournament at the prestigious Santa Ana County Club in the heart of Orange County. Under the leadership of our Golf Chair, Gary Brennen of Syska Hennessy, the tournament was sold out one month in advance and raised more than $70,000 to support scholarships, career fairs, traveling fellowships, ice cream socials and other activities and events for our architectural students. This year’s tournament was won by the Snyder Langston Foursome.

Our Emerging Professionals lead by Jessica Tien kicked off the new year with three Engage events. First, we visited Genslers’ Orange County office, followed by an event at Haworth’s downtown Los Angeles office and then a visit to the Cunningham Group in Culver City where we were honored by the presence of Ronald Altoon. Ron was the recipient of our past Distinguished Alumni in 1999. The Cunningham event was well attended with over 60 people in attendance including students, other professionals and Guild Members.

Cunningham Engage event on November 9, 2017. Ron Altoon, Distinguished Alumni 1999 sitting in the front row.


Jessica Tien, USC Architectural Guild Board Student Representative, Rebecca Martinez – Cunningham Group and Steve Luchetta – USC Architectural Guild Board President

Our Mentorship Program kicked off on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 with a breakfast on campus. Under the leadership of David Swartz of HLW Architects, we have achieved record numbers with over 150 mentees and over 120 mentors. This important program offers an opportunity for students to connect with an outside professional that can provide career guidance, advice, and support from a real-world point of view.

Our Communication Committee under the leadership of Vanja Deretic of KPFF Engineers is working on developing a “launch kit” that can be used by all committees to be more efficient with their time and reach the broadest audience. The committee will be meeting in the first quarter of 2018 with Elizabeth Held, the new Assistant Dean for Communications & Marketing for the School of Architecture, to coordinate all of their efforts.

Finally, our Membership Committee chaired by Leslie Gentile continues to look for ways to increase membership by reviewing sponsorship levels, enhancing current value, enhancing participation of non-board members on committees and by “creating stability” for pricing for firms to budget. The Membership committee will also be attending the meeting with the new Assistant Dean for Communications in the first quarter of 2018.

I would like to extend a sincere thanks to our corporate sponsors who throughout the years have consistently supported the Guild. Their support is greatly appreciated and is critical for the development of our talented architectural students.

Please look for future blogs and postings and plan to join us at one of our upcoming events. If you are not a currently a member of the Guild, please consider joining us. You can find more information about the Guild here.

Happy New Year!  Fight On!




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